Security and medical sources said on Tuesday that a police officer and two conscripts were killed when their armored vehicle drove past a roadside bomb in the south of El-Arish, the capital of North Sinai province.
The sources identified the officer as Lieutenant Colonel Tamer Shaheen of the Central Security Forces. They said 10 other people, who were wounded in the attack, were taken to the military hospital in the city.
The security source said militants of Daesh, a Takfiri terrorist group based in Iraq and Syria which has a branch in Sinai, were behind the attack. It said the militants had apparently planted the bomb on the roadside and let it detonate remotely as the police vehicle drove by.
Daesh has killed hundreds of Egyptian security forces in Sinai in attacks since 2013, when it emerged after a popular coup in Cairo against then President Mohammed Morsi. There was no claim of responsibility from the group for the attack on Tuesday.
Egypt’s Interior Ministry, which is responsible for security across Egypt, has yet to comment on the incident. The state television confirmed the deaths but would not elaborate on the ranks and identity of the policemen. It also failed to mention the wounded.
Over the past year, Daesh has expanded its attacks out of Sinai to target civilians, especially members of Egypt’s Coptic Christian community. About 100 Copts have been killed in such attacks in mainland Egypt since December.
State of emergency extended
The Egyptian parliament on Tuesday approved President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s decision to extend by three months a state of emergency across the country.
Speaker of the House of Representatives Ali Abdelaal said the measure, which came after two church bombings in April, was necessary to facilitate the crackdown on militants.
“The reasons for which the state of emergency was declared are still in place and therefore it must be extended,” Abdelaal said in an address to the parliament after lawmakers unanimously approved Sisi’s decision.